I found a couple video’s that – while not showing wattle building – do show the twisting of greenwood to make a rope. In this case, a rope to make a swing for children. The video is a silent film that looks like it was filmed in Finland in 1938. You can find it on Youtube by searching for “With an Axe and Knife”. It’s a compilation video of different greenwood techniques without the use of power tools (or, for that matter, even a froe…) documented. Interesting stuff showing how to create an axe handle, shingles, a thin box, and even a plotka gun (a toy popper gun).
Thanks for that, Spencer.
It’s interesting to see an axe and knife being used for shaping wood, and shows that the obsessive interest in precision that we have is often unnecessary. It’s probably a result of our familiarity with manufactured goods.
My barn is full of funny old tools, and in fact there are two old frame-saws and a drill like the one being used to drill a hole in a log in the film. I had assumed it was for drilling into soil but I should give it a go and see if it will drill into wood.
I also have some old weaving tools that were used to produce cloth. I want to build a wooden loom and see if I can produce woollen textiles, but that will have to wait until I’ve finished building furniture for my house.
I’m not sure this belongs on a site dedicated to fine woodwork so I’ve tacked it on here instead of starting a new thread.
Anyway, here’s a photo of a gate I made for my chicken coup. No fancy joinery involved, it’s just nailed and dowelled together. Dead easy and quick to make. I used a spoke-shave to make it look more rustic, and painted thinned down linseed oil on top of the stain to protect it.
The design evolved as I was making it – I had no idea how it would look when I started.
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Personally, I like it very much. That looks a lot better than most of the machine, cookie-cutter designs you get from a box store and a whole lot better than a lot of what is seen just doing a Google search for rustic garden gate. I bet the chickens think it’s fairly cool as well!
The ‘rays’ look well-spaced and airy while still providing a barrier to barnyard animals. It looks sturdy and solid. I really like the beveled edges to the cross-pieces – it gives it a crafted look.
As far as ‘fine furniture’ goes – I haven’t really heard that this is what being a craftsman is all about. As Paul Sellers says time and again – “It’s not what you make, it’s how you make it”. Whether that be French ornate period pieces, to Arts and Crafts, to modern Scandinavian design, to rustic garden fences. To me, it looks like the garden gate was put together to serve a purpose and to provide a visually appealing aesthetic – this is no different than the philosophy of the Shaker pieces that still define conventional furniture.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 10 months ago by Spencer Gaskins.
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